UO professor awarded prestigious fellowship

UO English professor Martha Bayless
UO English professor Martha Bayless

Bread is the cornerstone of a healthy diet, but for UO English professor Martha Bayless it’s also a chance to leaven her research with a national fellowship.

Bayless and her groundbreaking research on bread and its cultural, sociological and economic impact on Anglo-Saxon England has been awarded a Collaborative Research Fellowship from ­­the American Council of Learned Societies.

The fellowship awarded to Bayless and her colleague, Debby Banham from the University of Cambridge, will fund up to $200,000 for their project during their 24-month tenure.

Bayless’ and Banham’s ongoing research will eventually be part of a book, “Survival, Civilization, and Salvation: The Origins of Bread Culture in Early England.”  

The book will focus on “both the day-to-day as well as the larger themes of early English bread culture from a multidisciplinary perspective and demonstrate the ways in which a staple foodstuff formed a nexus of social practice and moral meaning that was imbued with symbolic and cultural significance.”

Bayless and Banham’s work was among nine projects funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the American Council of Learned Societies.

By Craig Garcia, University Communications intern